Members day in the north of Melbourne

By on June 26, 2012

CMPA Secretariat reports on the successful day recently held in the north of Melbourne for CMPA Members.

A fine but cold morning on the 27th June 2012 saw over 60 representatives of the quarry industry from all over Victoria meet at the Coolaroo Hotel in the north of Melbourne to get on the bus for the tour out to Northern Quarries in Epping. Prior to departure, Gordyn & Palmer (Member’s Day sponsors) did a presentation on ‘Maximising your plant capability’, through optimizing throughput efficiency, plant automation and transparent reporting. The presentation allowed members to remotely view the ongoings of the plant on a computerscreen.

The bus travelled for the last time through the old Cooper Street entrance and attendees were able to witness firsthand the Rehabilitation of the site.

Ron and Pat Kerr, Mark Wagner, Wayne Deken and all the Northern Quarries team had put in a great effort to have the operation in tip top shape for the site tour. It was a special day for the quarry and it’s owners with the opening of the newly restored Miller House (original homestead on the property), the new quarry entrance on O’Hearns Road and re-located weighbridge and offices.

Morning tea was provided as attendees viewed Miller House as well as displays of mobile plant from Associate Members Komatsu (Excavator) and Onetrak (Hyundai Loader).

Then it was back on the bus for a tour of the quarry including the pit and a hands on look at the plant and equipment. The sales team from Gordyn and Palmer were also on hand to give a run down and further explanation on the plants automation which operated beautifully.

“Great to see a well built and thought out quarry plant and it was clean – Well done.”

“I appreciated the opportunity to come along and inspect the new Northern Quarries Processing Plant.”

The bus then headed back to the Coolaroo Hotel for a quick bite of lunch before Bruce McClure facilitated the Blasting Workshop. WorkSafe’s Martin Davies provided an in depth overview of updated guidelines on Safe Distances and putting together a Blast Management Plan (BMP) and a Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS).

Whilst Adam Gordon of Orica spoke about the changes to the Shotfirers License Renewal course and the new CMPA publications – Shotfirers Book and Magazine Management Safety Checklist.

After a short break, the CMPA Members General Meeting was held. This was an opportunity to be updated on some key issues by the experts such as:

  • Michael Lamden, VECCI speaking on Carbon Taxes
  • Jillian Mannix, BRIT speaking on development of Sampling Course
  • John Welsh, on updated Truck Regulations and the Chain of Responsibility
  • John Mitas, providing an update on MRSDA review and the latest at DPI
  • Mick Steinfort, Gordyn & Palmer speaking on minimising the impact of rising electrical costs by automated processes.

This was followed by a 2 course dinner and networking with other members.

A total of sixty CMPA members, government staff and other industry personnel participated in the various aspects of the day. Thanks to all those who helped make the day such a success, especially the presenters.

Thanks to our sponsors, Gordyn & Palmer and Orica for making the day possible.

CMPA Member Nirmine Zeghaib from Allstone Quarries has provided her summary of the Members’ Day


Having no previous experience in quarrying and only been working three months at Allstone Quarries, I was very excited to attend the CMPA Member’s day. The CMPA committee and members were most welcoming and supportive.

However I find myself shocked as being the only female, from a Quarry, at this event. I was very impressed with the organisation of the event including the proceedings at Northern Quarries. To have the opportunity to visit a well-established Quarry and to network with other individuals, within the industry, was very rewarding and placed me with a better understanding of the Quarry industry. I was completely overwhelmed at how well organised, designed and managed the site at Northern Quarries was (full credit to Northern Quarries) and how much work I have to do at our own sites.

The overall presentation from Northern Quarries was impressive as well as their openness to share ideas and support other Quarry members.

We were divided into groups and taken on an informative tour of different sections of the plant. We inspected the new integrated system and how it worked from an operator perspective. It was very interesting as it removed the need for paperwork and every detection was picked up on the system. It appeared to be a very well planned and designed system which the team at the Northern Quarries are glad to have.

Coming from an Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) background I was very impressed by the traffic fl ow and guarding system in place. The traffic control plan separated on site, heavy and light vehicles and restricted access to the site; I was also impressed to see allocated parking for all light vehicles such as staff, visitors and even down near the plant. It made me feel like I was back at an open cut BMA site in central Queensland.

For the future it would be a great to get an insight into the systems used at other Quarries such as procedures and actions – thus enabling the Quarry industry to work together to build a safe working environment for all our workers and community.

Participants of the CMPA Member’s Day at Northern Quarries, Epping


The visit to Northern Quarries was followed by a blasting Workshop back at the Coolaroo Hotel. The workshop was a great way to develop an understanding of and requirements regarding blasting, providing an opportunity to interact and work with other individuals. Martian Davies from WorkSafe Victoria discussed requirements of a Blast Management Plan (BMP), Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS) and Safe Distance.

The Workshop was very interesting and provided all participants with requirements needed under the Dangerous Goods (Explosives) Regulations 2011. We were provided with a BMP template which can be implemented into a BMP onsite. Groups were arranged to discuss Blasting Management Plans and issues at sites. It was interesting to hear other opinions and I was very impressed to hear CMPA Member Quarries’ operations comply with regulation requirements.

A very useful workshop for me from an OH&S perspective, I was glad to hear SWMS for Blast Management only needs to be written once and becomes a useful procedure others may use – which may be altered if changes occur.


I was glad of the opportunity to take part in the member meeting. It was a great way to network and to hear from various guest speakers regarding topics impacting the quarrying industry.

John Welsh discussed updated truck regulations and the chain of responsibility. The topic I was most looking forward to listening to. I was unaware of these updates and glad they were addressed. The members really got involved and discussions were heated around load limits and chain of responsibility. I was very impressed to see the CMPA state guidelines were “just guidelines” and we should be working above them. We want to move forward and sustain an industry based on safety, quality and consistency.

Jillian Mannix from BRIT Bendigo TAFE presented on development of sampling courses. I was shocked to hear these courses are not available and there is a gap in the industry regarding training. We, as a quarrying community, must support and work with BRIT in developing these programs to better our industry and people in the future.

Michael Lamden, VECCI, provided a talk on carbon tax. This gave members an insight into how carbon tax may affect our industry. He made some good points including the sense of reviewing all contracts from our suppliers, understanding price increases and re-negotiating contracts.

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